It was a typical Monday, but that’s probably what started this.
Louis was traumatizing the associates in the bullpen. Harvey was closing a client up on West 51st and 5th Avenue. Donna was silently watching a bogus letter of blackmail make its way through the office and scare grown men. Typical Monday. So, it didn’t really surprise anyone when Louis eventually found his way to Donna’s cubicle, an envelope in hand. It didn’t surprise anyone else that she didn’t look up from her computer.
"So, did you hear about the new Williams? Or well, old. Revival, Donna, a revival."
And that was all it took to intrigue Donna. He could tell, with the slight twitch of her eyebrows and the tightness around her eyes as she focused on typing. There was the hook.
"Of course I have, Louis. What does this have to do with me?"
He held up the envelope.
"Opening night, Donna."
"Do I have to go with you?"
"You have to go with someone and what better than the man who scored the tickets?"
Sinker. Her head jerked up, he smiled, the battle of wits began. She stared at him. He stared right back. Really, a typical Monday. Which is why neither of them noticed as a blond haired man came by, looking about mid-30s with a sort of messy haircut, mostly clean shaven, and bright blue eyes hidden behind black framed glasses. He tilted his head at them, hands going into his jacket and a foot lifting up to scratch at his ankle, pushing his jeans up to let his sneaker-clad foot scratch the skin. It was all very casual and slightly alarming considering the place they were. Eventually, he spoke.
"I could come back, y’know."
And that broke whatever weird trance Donna and Louis were in. Louis glanced over at him, a sneer spreading across his face at his clothes and he opened his mouth to speak, but Donna got there first.
"Oh, Mike. Harvey’s not here, were you two...?"
"Ah, no. I was just in the area. I needed to ask him something."
"He should be back soon, you can wait."
"Really? I know he doesn’t really..."
"Mike, it’s you. Relax."
And the sheepish grin that spread across the kid’s face had Louis flabbergasted. Who was this guy? And why was he allowed in Harvey’s office when Louis wasn’t. This ... this nobody was receiving a kind smile from Donna and stepping forward to Harvey’s office and... and...
That got a look from both Donna and Mike. Louis, while usually one to crumble over a glare from the redhead, would not back down this time. Instead, he ignored her and approached the kid, giving him a once over before staring at him directly. He seemed to wilt.
"I’ve never seen you around here before."
"Er, I don’t come by often."
"But you come by now and Donna lets you in, why is that?"
"And you’re not even... dressed. Jeans? A t-shirt? What are we, at a Bon Jovi concert?"
"How did you even get in the building? No, don’t answer that. What’s your name?"
"M-Mike. Mike Ross."
And that stopped Louis in his tracks. Mike ... Ross? The only Mike Ross he had ever heard of was the author. That book of poems, Presque Vu, the one Rachel suggested to him and he had been talking to about with Jessica and oh my god Donna had read it too, did this mean--
"Louis, stop staring at Mike like that, you’re scaring him."
He snapped out of it, looking over at Donna before at Mike again.
"Haha, that’s funny because I was just thinking. Ross, was it? You have the same name of this poet--"
"Oh!" Mike’s eyes widened and his cheeks turned slightly pink. Louis narrowed his eyes.
"You know who I’m talking about?"
"Presque Vu, right? I... uhm. Yeah, I wrote that."
The expression Louis made at that moment would amuse both Mike and Donna till the day they died. He blanched, staring with wide eyes and mouth open and Mike couldn’t help but take a step back. Louis suddenly saw this "Mike Ross" in a whole new light. He was not fit for a law firm, no no, he was an artist. One of the greatest of their time and he was right here, right in front of Louis, and Louis could... he could inhale the same air as this genius! This absolute genius who wrote the most intense and intimate and emotional poems he’s ever read. This man had made him cry for him, made him cry for the words, the feelings, the love shown in that book.
"You... you wrote that book? You’re the... oh my god."
Mike glanced over at Donna with wide eyes, she only gave a small shrug and watched Louis in amusement. If Mike was ten times more aware, he would know she was enjoying this. Except, Mike was not so Louis took a step forward.
"I have read your book so many times, Mike-- can I call you Mike? I’d love to call you Mike." Mike nodded. "I have read your book and oh my god, your words are like spun gold, my friend. You are a master of your trade and I can’t believe you’re right here, right in front of me. You’re a genius." And by the time he finished, Louis had both hands gripping Mike’s biceps and Mike was petrified, pressed against the glass wall of Harvey’s office, thinking of escape.
"I... I’m really glad you think that? I just, uhm, I have a... thing. Er, Donna, tell Harvey--"
"Tell Harvey what? That you’re being manhandled by a colleague in front of my office? Because Harvey can see that."
Three faces jerked (well, Mike and Louis jerked. Donna had already noticed him.) over to where Harvey stood, his head tilted to the side staring at them. A coffee in one hand, his blackberry in another, and an unamused look on his face. Mike let out a sigh of relief which of course made Louis look over at him, eyes wide and questioning. He let go in the next moment and Mike scrambled away towards Harvey. Louis couldn’t help the narrow of his eyes at that. Why did Harvey know Mike? Was Harvey his lawyer? Fuck that, Louis was going to steal Mike as a client the next moment Harvey left the two of them alone.
Louis watched as Mike moved towards Harvey before stopping a safe distance away, the expression on his face changing to hesitant instead of relieved. Harvey cocked an eyebrow at him before stepping closer with the appearance of heading towards the office. Yet Louis wasn’t stupid, he saw the way Harvey’s hand pressed against the small of Mike’s back, pushing him towards the office. The gentleness struck a chord in Louis that shocked him more than words could say. The whole exchange took no more than a few seconds but it left Louis confused and curious.
"Anyway, Louis, get out. Donna, green tea today." A pointed glare towards Louis and Donna turned back to her computer before Harvey slipped inside and-- and smiled at Mike. Louis moved to approach the door but the voice from behind him stopped him in his tracks.
He paused before moving back to her and bracing his hands on the side of the cubicle. His eyes flicked from her to inside the glass walls where Mike was leaning against Harvey’s desk, a smile on his face as he watched Harvey head towards the record shelf. This was so weird.
"You’re not going inside, Louis."
"But Harvey interrupted my conversation with Mike, Donna."
"Mike wanted to talk to Harvey, Louis."
"But Harvey shouldn’t be allowed to talk to such a magnificent creature, Donna."
Louis would gently file away the snort Donna made at that moment for another time. Instead, he took his gaze off the two in the office and stared at Donna. She had a hand pressed to her face, trying to hold in her laughter. What was so amusing?
"Louis, you really shouldn’t bother Mike."
"But why? That man in there... What does Harvey have that I don’t? Why would he want to talk to Harvey instead of me?"
Another snort! Louis was this close to storming in and just demanding answers.
"Well, Louis, there’s a lot of things I could say to that, but it’s really not the time or place."
"Are they friends? Is that it? Is everyone here friends with Mike Ross except for me?"
"Do you want to be Mike’s friend, Louis?"
"Yes! Of course I do! I would lick the dirt off that man’s shoes, Donna!"
"There’s an associate at the elevators right now holding a coffee tray with three large drinks. One green tea. One black coffee. And a skim frap. Bring them to me, and we’ll talk."
So Louis did. When he arrived back at Harvey’s office, Donna was inside. He took in the scene before him with wide eyes. Mike was sitting at Harvey’s desk, spinning side to side while Donna perched at the windowsill with a smile. Harvey was nowhere to be found but his suit jacket was hanging on the back of the chair Mike sat on. The two of them were talking and Louis decided it would be the perfect time to walk right on in.
"But last night, Harvey--" Mike was saying but immediately went quiet as Louis walked in, eyes darting over to him. Louis smiled the best smile he could, walking over to set the drinks on the table.
"Oh come on, no need to get quiet over me. Go on, what were you saying about Harvey?" Score. He was so smooth, so very very smooth. He watched as Mike took the green tea out of the tray (which confused him because who even drinks tea?) but acted casual anyway, moving to bring the frap to Donna. She let out a pleased hum as she took a sip from her coffee, eyes on the both of them.
"Uhm, I was telling Donna about something I was talking to Harvey about yesterday. It was in the Times and I thought it was kind of funny."
Louis kept smiling. So, Harvey and Mike talk often, huh? Then all those times Louis talked about Presque Vu and Harvey just smiled meant... oh that bastard. "The Times, huh? You would read the Times, wouldn’t you, Mike?"
"I... guess? Harvey was already having it delivered before so," he shrugged, taking a sip of tea.
Wait, what? That made absolutely no sense and Louis looked baffled again, opening his mouth to ask before there was a clearing of throat at the door.
"Louis, remind me why I’m seeing your face twice in the span of an hour? If I didn’t know any better, I would say you were stalking me."
Louis scoffed. "Real funny, Harvey, real funny. I was just talking to Mike." A sneer at Harvey as the man walked over to the desk, grabbing his coffee and taking a sip. He raised an eyebrow at Louis over the rim and Louis just glared harder.
"And why were you talking to Mike?"
"Is there some sort of reason I can’t talk to Mike? We’re friends, aren’t we, Mike?"
Now both men looked at the blond and he seemed to shrink in his seat.
"I just... met you..."
"But I’m a fan, Mike. You can’t just turn away a fan like that. We could be friends too, Mike. I get you, I really do. I know you, Mike. I've read all your interviews."
Mike looked half a second away from running which... probably wasn’t too good. Harvey deemed it time to interject.
"Louis. Seriously, get out," There was a sharp glare from him before he turned to Mike. "You, why are you still here?"
How disrespectful. Louis watched, astonished that Harvey would speak to Mike that way. Yet when he looked at Mike, the man just seemed to... brighten? And change completely, at that. Instead of jumping and looking bewildered like he had to Louis all morning, he just ... glowed.
"You kicking me out?"
"I’m throwing you out."
Louis took his time going to the door. The two men didn’t seem to notice but he knew Donna was watching him. It didn’t matter, he needed to know what the deal was. The two were staring at each other in a way that Louis wasn’t sure how to interpret.
"Uh, if Mike’s leaving, I can walk him to the ele--" And then, simultaneously.
"He’s not leaving."
"I’m not leaving."
Which of course, lead him to Rachel. If anyone would know, she would. Well, no, Donna would but Rachel was a good second choice.
She didn’t even look up from her desk.
"I just met Mike Ross."
"Uh-huh. Mike’s visiting Harvey again?"
This was the weirdest day. Louis went wide-eyed and slipped into the room, closing the door behind him.
"Tell me what you know."
She looked up, baffled. "What?"
"Tell me what you know, Rachel. Those three..." A disgusted noise from Louis. "What’s the deal with Harvey and Mike Ross?"
Rachel blinked at him before laughing, giving a shake of her head.
"Louis, there’s no ‘deal’ with Mike and Harvey. They’re just... Mike and Harvey."
"But what is Mike and Harvey?" She stared at him harder.
"Louis, why do you care so much?"
"I have to know! Why does Harvey get to talk to that... that phenomenal man and not me?"
Rachel gave the same snort Donna did earlier, even followed by lifting her hand to her mouth to keep from laughing. The hell was going on?
"Look, Louis, I know you have this... thing for Mike’s book but Mike’s a friend of mine and unless he wants me to tell you about his personal life, I won’t."
Louis sneered and left the room.
This wasn’t right. This wasn’t right at all. Rachel wouldn’t tell him. Donna wouldn’t tell him. It had to be more, didn’t it? Harvey wasn’t his lawyer, that’s for sure. Mike was a friend, of all of them! But why? And when? Why didn’t they tell Louis?
Which is precisely the moment he bumps into Jessica.
"Oh, Louis. I didn’t see you there." Of course she didn’t.
"Jessica. How are you?"
"I’m fine. You, on the other hand, seem ... off. I might regret asking this, but why?"
He sneered again! It seemed to be his default expression today. "I just met Mike Ross."
"Oh, Mike’s here again? Tell him to swing by my office, I have that recipe he wanted."
And then she left. Just like that, with a sweet smile to Louis and a sashay of her hips that he definitely didn’t watch, she left. Louis was going insane. Still, it gave him a reason to head back to Harvey’s office. So, off he went, down the hall with a purposeful stride. His eyes widened when he didn’t see Donna at her desk and then a glance towards to the office showed... nothing? But the more he approached, he noticed that it was just Harvey and Mike in the office.
Mike and Harvey were in the office, sure, but this wasn’t what he expected to see. Mike was leaning against the windowsill and Harvey had his back to the door, facing Mike. Yet he was close, almost standing between Mike’s legs and his hand was lifted, thumb brushing against Mike’s jaw. Mike leaned into the touch, eyes closed and a smile on his face. Louis paused in the hall, feeling he was intruding on something surprisingly intimate. Which, of course, is when it clicked. Those poems, that book, the way everyone seemed to know Mike. Harvey was Mike’s muse. Harvey was the focus of that love. Harvey was the catalyst of those emotions.
Louis’ life came crashing down.
So, he did the most sane thing he could think of. Which was burst into the office, effectively crashing the moment between them, and pointing his finger at the two. Harvey jumped back and looked like he might murder Louis. Mike had jerked up and looked like a deer caught in headlights.
"Ah ha. You just got Litt up."
Harvey pinched the bridge of his nose. "Louis, you have ten seconds to explain yourself or I swear to god, I am filing a restraining order."
"Nuh-uh, Harvey, you can’t say that to me anymore. I’ve got you. I’ve got you. That book, yep, it’s about you, isn’t it? Mike wrote about you, ha!"
The two stared at him blankly. Harvey was the first to speak, "Yes, and?"
"Oh my god, you’re not even denying it."
"There’s nothing to deny!"
"You’re the focus of one of the most popular books of our time and it’s for girls."
"I didn’t think it was..." Mike started but Harvey stopped him with a look.
"Louis, you’re either going to give me a reasonable explanation for your entire existence or you’re going to get out. Pick one and do it already."
"I just don’t get it though. Mike seems like a sane and reasonable man," There was a murmur of "Uh, thanks?" from him but Louis continued, "Why would he pick you?" The responding glare from the two men was enough to get Louis to high tail it out that office.
Yet not before his, "Sheesh, must be something in the water."
And that is, of course, the story of how Harvey Specter filed a thirty day restraining order against Louis Litt for "being a general menace to society." So, all in all, a typical Monday.